Monday, June 5, 2017

Thanks to the fabulous publicity team at Bloomsbury, I have an excerpt from one of my top reads so far this a chance to win all of the books being featured on the Boldly Bookish Blog Tour this June! First, here's a bit more about the book I'm featuring:

Title: Letters to the Lost
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Series: n/a
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication Date: April 4, 2017
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

Add to Goodreads
Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother's death, she leaves letters at her grave. It's the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn't the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he's trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can't resist writing back. Soon, he's opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they're not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.

I legit loved Letters to the Lost when I read it earlier this year. I loved the pen pal aspect but also the depth of the story and the characters' grief. It really was just an all-around great wonder it's on my list of favorites for 2017.

Behold, a snippet from Letters to the Lost...and yet another reason you should pick up this book ASAP:

The hallways are empty, which seems impossible. Where are the rest of the slackers? Why am I always the only late one?

Besides, it’s not like I wasn’t here. I’m physically in the building. It’s not like I’m going to turn into a model student once a teacher starts doing the Charlie Brown at the blackboard.

By the time we reach the language arts wing, we’re half running, skidding through turns. I grab hold of the corner to help propel me down the last hall.

I feel the burn before I feel the collision. Hot liquid sears my skin, and I cry out. A cup of coffee has exploded across my chest. I slam into something solid, and I’m skidding, slipping, falling.

Someone solid.

I’m on the ground, eyes level with scuffed black work boots.

In a rom-com, this would be the “meet-cute.” The boy would be movie-star hot, first-string quarterback, and class valedictorian. He’d offer me his hand, and he’d coincidentally have an extra T-shirt in his backpack. I’d change into it in the restroom, and somehow my boobs would be bigger, my hips would be smaller, and he’d walk me to class and ask me to prom.

In reality, the guy is Declan Murphy, and he’s practically snarling. His shirt and jacket are soaked with coffee, too, and he’s pulling material away from his chest.

If the rom-com guy was the star quarterback, Declan is the senior-class reject. He’s got a criminal record and a frequent seat in detention. He’s big and mean, and while reddish-brown hair and a sharp jaw might turn some girls on, the dark look in his eyes is enough to keep them away. A scar bisects one eyebrow, and it’s probably not his only one. Most people are afraid of him, and they have a reason to be. Rowan is simultaneously trying to help me up and pull me away from him.

He looks at me with absolute derision. His voice is rough and low. “What is wrong with you?”

I jerk away from Rowan. My shirt is plastered to my chest, and I can guarantee he’s getting a great view of my purple bra through my pastel-green shirt. For as hot as the coffee was, now I’m wet and freezing. This is humiliating and horrible, and I can’t decide if I want to cry or I want to yell at him.

My breath actually hitches, but I suck it up. I’m not afraid of him. “You ran into me.”

His eyes are fierce. “I wasn’t the one running.”

Then he moves forward sharply. I shrink away before I can help it.

Okay, maybe I am afraid of him.

I don’t know what I thought he was going to do. He’s just so intense. He stops short and scowls at my reaction, then finishes his motion to lean down and grab his backpack where it fell.


There probably is something wrong with me. I want to yell at him all over again, even though all this was my fault. My jaw tightens.

Temper, Juliet.

The memory of my mother hits me so hard and fast and sudden that it’s a miracle I don’t burst into tears right here. There’s nothing holding me together, and one wrong word is going to send me straight off an edge.

Declan is straightening, and that scowl is still on his face, and I know he’s going to say something truly despicable. This, after the chastising letter, might be enough to turn me into a sopping me.

But then his eyes find mine, and something he sees there steals the dark expression from his face.

A tinny voice speaks from beside us. “Declan Murphy. Late again, I see.”

Mr. Bellicaro, my freshman year biology teacher, is standing beside Rowan. Her cheeks are flushed and she looks almost panicked. She must have sensed trouble and gone running for a teacher. It’s something she would do. I’m not sure whether I’m annoyed or relieved. A classroom door hangs open behind him, and kids are peering into the hallway.

Declan swipes at drops of coffee clinging to his jacket. “I wasn’t late. She ran into me.”

Mr. Bellicaro purses his lips. He’s short and has a round gut that’s accentuated by a pink sweater-vest. He’s not what you’d consider well-liked. “No food is allowed outside the cafeteria—”

“Coffee isn’t food,” says Declan.

“Mr. Murphy, I believe you know the way to the principal’s office.”

“Yeah, I could draw you a map.” His voice sharpens, and he leans in, glowering. “This isn’t my fault.

Rowan flinches back from his tone. Her hands are almost wringing. I don’t blame her. For an instant, I wonder if this guy is going to hit a teacher.

Mr. Bellicaro draws himself up. “Am I going to have to call security?”

“No.” Declan puts his hands up, his voice bitter. His eyes are dark and furious. “No. I’m walking.” And he is, cursing under his breath. He crumples his paper cup and flings it at a trash can.

So many emotions ricochet around my skull that I can barely settle on one. Shame, because it really was my fault, and I’m standing here, letting him take the blame. Indignation, for the way he spoke. Fear, for the way he acted.

Intrigue, for the way the darkness fell off his face when his eyes met mine.

I wish I had a photograph of his face at precisely that moment. Or now, capturing his walk down the shadowed hallway. Light flashes on his hair and turns it gold when he passes each window, but shadows cling to his broad shoulders and dark jeans. I haven’t wanted to touch my camera since Mom died, but all of a sudden I wish I had it in my hands. My fingers itch for it.

“For you, Miss Young.”

I turn, and Mr. Bellicaro is holding out a white slip of paper.

Detention. Again.

Well, after reading that unfortunate meeting again, I kind of want need to re-read this yesterday. Think I'll try out the audiobook next. ;0)

About the author:

BRIGID KEMMERER is author of LETTERS TO THE LOST (Bloomsbury; April 4, 2017), a dark, contemporary Young Adult romance; THICKER THAN WATER (Kensington, December 29, 2015), a New Adult paranormal mystery with elements of romance; and the YALSA-nominated Elemental series of five Young Adult novels and three e-novellas which Kirkus Reviews calls “refreshingly human paranormal romance” and School Library Journal describes as “a new take on the supernatural genre.” She lives in the Baltimore area with her husband and four sons.

Find Brigid:

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Open to US/Canada ONLY

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Be sure to check out the rest of the Boldly Bookish tour! (Links to each blog are below the graphic.)

Enjoy the rest of the tour! Happy reading! =D


  1. Letters to the Lost has been calling to me. I like her Elemental series and hope this is even better.

  2. Wow- I've never read anything quite like this- I'll have to check it out!

  3. Unfortunately I wasn't a huge fan of Letters to the Lost. I liked the backstories and the characterization, but I didn't like the romance which kind of spoiled the book for me. What a great host of books though!

    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books

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